Illinois farmers are recovering from last year’s drought. The crop forecast published Monday by the USDA calls for 1.9 billion bushels of corn to be produced in Illinois this year, up 52 percent from last year, when 1.25 billion bushels were harvested. Yield is projected to rise from 105 to 165 bushels per acre, which is near normal.
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“It’s fairly typical that after a severe drought in a given area, for that area to come back to average the following year,” said Rod Weinzierl, executive director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. The national forecast is for 13.7 billion bushels of corn, a 28 percent increase from 2012. The soybean forecast for Illinois is 439 million bushels, up 15 percent from 2012, with a yield of 47 bushels per acre, up from 43 in 2012. Nationally, production is forecast at 3.26 billion bushels of soybeans, an 8 percent increase over 2012.
If the forecasts hold true, Illinois will be the No. 1 state for soybean production, and will be No. 2 behind Iowa for corn.